Today in Soap Opera History (April 4)

"There is no present or future, only the past happening over and over again - now."
- Eugene O'Neill

"Today in Soap Opera History" is a collection of the most memorable, interesting and influential events in the history of scripted, serialized programs. From birthdays and anniversaries to scandals and controversies, every day this column celebrates the soap opera in American culture.

On this date in...

GENERATIONS included Martin Luther King Jr.
in its opening sequence.
1968: Just after 6 p.m., Martin Luther King Jr. was fatally shot while standing on the balcony outside his second-story room at the Lorraine Motel in Memphis, Tennessee. The civil rights leader was in Memphis to support a sanitation workers' strike and was on his way to dinner when a bullet struck him in the jaw and severed his spinal cord. King was pronounced dead after his arrival at a Memphis hospital. He was 39 years old.

The PEYTON PLACE episode scheduled for 9:30 p.m. ET that night was preempted.

21 years later, in 1989, GENERATIONS became the first daytime soap opera to premiere with an African-American core family. The show's opening sequence included a shot of Dr. King.

1975: On ANOTHER WORLD, Dennis (Mike Hammett) and Iris (Beverlee McKinsey) came over for the first dinner with Mac (Douglass Watson) and Rachel (Victoria Wydham) at the Cory mansion.

1980: On THE EDGE OF NIGHT, Logan (Joe Lambie) and Raven (Sharon Gabet) had it out over Jamey.



1986: Bill Hayes returned to DAYS OF OUR LIVES as Doug Williams after a two year absence.

1988: Britain's ITV aired the final episode of the original version of CROSSROADS, after a 24 year run. Hazel Adair and Peter Ling created the show in 1964. A new version of the soap debuted in 2001 but only lasted two years.



1988: On AS THE WORLD TURNS, Frannie (Julianne Moore) returned to Oakdale to tell Kim (Kathryn Hays) and Bob (Don Hastings) that Andy might have a drinking problem.



1995: On ALL MY CHILDREN, Dimitri (Michael Nader) welcomed Erica (Susan Lucci) home while Kendall (Sarah Michelle Gellar) secretly watched.



1995: On ONE LIFE TO LIVE, Dorian (Robin Strasser) was surprised to see Kelly (Gina Tognoni) all grown up.



Edward Mallory passed away in 2007.  He played
Bill Horton on DAYS, many of those years opposite
Susan Flannery's Laura.
2007: Longtime DAYS OF OUR LIVES star Edward Mallory (Bill Horton) died at age 76. Mallory had previously worked with DAYS creator Ted Corday on his NBC daytime soap MORNING STAR. Mallory was married to former DAYS star Susanne Zenor (Margo).

2007: On THE BOLD AND THE BEAUTIFUL, Stephanie (Susan Flannery) told Felicia that Taylor and Nick were planning on having a baby together.

2007: On THE YOUNG AND THE RESTLESS, while working on a location shoot, Phyllis (Michelle Stafford) and Sharon (Sharon Case) began to argue and struggle over a cell phone. When Drucilla (Victoria Rowell) tried to intervene, both she and Sharon lost their footing and went over a cliff. With the character of Drucilla presumed dead, this episode marked Rowell's final appearance on Y&R in the role she'd begun playing in the Spring of 1990.



Thanks to FoxCrane for sending in the item above.

2008: On GUIDING LIGHT, emotions ran high at the funeral service for Gus Aitoro.



Celebrating a birthday today are:
Humbert Allen Astredo (ex-James, LOVING; ex-Charles, DARK SHADOWS; ex-Bruno, ONE LIFE TO LIVE; ex-Joe, ANOTHER WORLD) - 85
Craig T. Nelson (Zeek, PARENTHOOD) - 70
Luke Halpin (ex-Pete, YOUNG DOCTOR MALONE) - 67
Derek Thompson (Charlie, CASUALTY) - 66
Christine Lahti (ex-Grace, JACK & BOBBY) - 64
Phil Morris (ex-Tyrone, THE YOUNG AND THE RESTLESS) - 55
Lorraine Toussaint (ex-Dr. Watkins, THE YOUNG AND THE RESTLESS; ex-Bird, FRIDAY NIGHT LIGHTS; ex-Yoga, UGLY BETTY; ex-Vera, ONE LIFE TO LIVE) - 54
Nancy McKeon (ex-ANOTHER WORLD; THE SECRET STORM) - 48

EDITOR'S NOTE: If you would like to submit a piece of soap opera history for this daily column, please email it to editor@welovesoaps.com.

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